www.photomacrography.net :: View topic - Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum)
www.photomacrography.net Forum Index
An online community dedicated to the practices of photomacrography, close-up and macro photography, and photomicrography.
Photomacrography Front Page Amateurmicrography Front Page
Old Forums/Galleries
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 
Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum)

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    www.photomacrography.net Forum Index -> Macro and Close-up Archives
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
rjlittlefield
Site Admin


Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 17395
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 8:02 pm    Post subject: Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) Reply with quote



This is a particularly luxuriant head of "cheatgrass" (Bromus tectorum). Spring is a wonderful season for cheatgrass. It's an annual, and at the first sign of warmth and water, the seeds formed the previous year sprout, and the little plants start growing furiously. For a few weeks, a landscape infested with cheatgrass looks great! So lush, so green! Very Happy But, oh, so temporary. Sad As quick as the stuff grows, it sets seed, dries up, and dies. Poof! What was a lush green field of grass becomes a grayish brown tinderbox just waiting to catch fire. If you were expecting pasture, guess again -- you've just been cheated!

Originally European, now widely introduced in dry areas in much of the world.

Here in eastern Washington, well, let me just quote from bentler.us:
Quote:
Cheatgrass is an invasive weedy annual that sprouts quickly in spring, grows rapidly in dense mats, and produces tons of seeds that are easily recognized as they poke into socks by the hundreds while walking through it. This plant generally outcompetes native bunchgrasses as it sucks moisture and nitrogen from the soil, and eventually produces hot wildfires resulting in sterile burns well-suited for its rapid spread and ultimate dominance.

Great stuff, eh? And nobody has a clue how to get rid of it!

But hey, it's spring now. Sure looks nice, doesn't it? Confused Very Happy

--Rik

Technical: Canon 300D, Sigma 105mm, ISO 100, 1/640 sec, f/4, natural light (overcast), handheld. A bit of blur added to background to improve the bokeh. One distracting brown leaf tip cloned away.


Last edited by rjlittlefield on Thu Apr 12, 2007 8:41 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Bruce Williams



Joined: 30 Oct 2006
Posts: 1120
Location: Northamptonshire, England

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice composition Rik.

Viewed like this - as a solitary study, Cheatgrass presents a certain languid elegance that speaks of balmy summer days rather than itchy feet and destructive grass fires!

Interesting write-up and completely new to me - thanks.

Bruce Very Happy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Ken Ramos



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 6909
Location: lat=35.4005&lon=-81.9841

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A new one to me Rik and as Bruce mentioned, an interesting write up. Seems as though I have seen this grass before, looks familar but I cannot say for sure. One time I did investigate Dallas Grass and found out that if cattle eat too much of it, it has detrimental effects on their behavior. Very nice image there Rik, enjoy the upcoming, hopefully, nice weather. Very Happy
_________________
However, while there is grace where in all that I might live, while there is still breath in my being, while I may or may not accomplish anything more in life than to be living, I shall reflect upon the past, applying it to the present, for to possibly perceive to a near certainty, the outcome of the future.

Ken 2014
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
MacroLuv



Joined: 28 Aug 2006
Posts: 1964
Location: Croatia

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Curves and lines. Nice motif. Very Happy
Shapes of which all the visible was made of. Cool
Only one element I find disturbing the whole impression. A brown thing near the copyright sign. Not being a carper but looking at perfection every detail counts. Angel
_________________
The meaning of beauty is in sharing with others.

P.S.
Noticing of my "a" and "the" and other grammar
errors are welcome. Very Happy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
beetleman



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 3578
Location: Southern New Hampshire USA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A very beautiful picture Rik. Nice graceful form and silvery sheen. Now that I know what it is "an invasive weed and tinder" I hate it.... Evil or Very Mad I bet a giant swarm of locusts could take care of it. Wink We are getting more snow up here in new Hampshire today, so my grass is buried in 6" of snow...very strange winter this year..."global warming??"
_________________
Take Nothing but Pictures--Leave Nothing but Footprints.
Doug Breda
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
rjlittlefield
Site Admin


Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 17395
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MacroLuv wrote:
Only one element I find disturbing the whole impression. A brown thing near the copyright sign. Not being a carper but looking at perfection every detail counts. Angel

Thanks, Nikola! That thing had been bothering me too, but somehow it hadn't occurred to me to fix it. Eliminating the brown thing (it was the dead end of another leaf) also let me move the copyright text into the corner, where I really wanted it in the first place but couldn't put it...because the brown thing was in the way! d'oh! Sometimes the simplest solutions just don't come to mind!

Better now?

--Rik
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
rjlittlefield
Site Admin


Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 17395
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beetleman wrote:
I bet a giant swarm of locusts could take care of it.

Doug, that's been tried (sort of Wink ) and found ineffective.

westernwildfire.org reports:
Quote:
It’s possible to partially control cheatgrass through grazing, but there are significant costs. First, you need to fence in a large number of animals within a small area for a brief amount of time, requiring labor and fencing supply costs. Then, to prevent damage to desired vegetation and provide sufficient feed, the animals must be moved often, requiring additional labor costs. Even if all of this is done correctly, a cheatgrass plant still needs to be clipped off (bitten off) at least 12 times to stop seedhead formation. This is nearly impossible, even under intensive grazing.

The other problem is the seeds. They stay viable in the soil for 2-5 years. So you not only have to stop seed production this year, but for the next 4 years too. Miss one plant, and you'll soon be in deep trouble again.
Quote:
A single stalk of cheatgrass can produce 1,000 seeds and an acre can generate more than 500 pounds of seed. In comparison, it normally takes just 10 to 20 pounds of grass seed per acre to establish a lawn in the typical American yard. Even at a mature height of just 5-10 cm (2-4 in), cheatgrass can still flower and produce viable seed.

So far, the best that anybody has come up with seem to be selective herbicides, applied repeatedly to control, not eliminate. Unfortunately those chemicals are not nearly as selective as you'd like [ref]. I suppose that some years down the road somebody will invent a devastingly effective plant disease that infects only Bromus tectorum. Let's hope they have sense enough to not turn it loose. Shocked

--Rik


Last edited by rjlittlefield on Thu Apr 12, 2007 9:20 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
MacroLuv



Joined: 28 Aug 2006
Posts: 1964
Location: Croatia

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rjlittlefield wrote:
...

Better now?

--Rik

Perfect! Very Happy
_________________
The meaning of beauty is in sharing with others.

P.S.
Noticing of my "a" and "the" and other grammar
errors are welcome. Very Happy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
crotermund



Joined: 12 Aug 2006
Posts: 203

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey there Rik - I like this composition and the depth that it conveys. The subtle changes in color in the background are nice too. I believe I have seen this grass also, but I sure didn't know anything about its short lifespan. Thanks. Smile
_________________
Craig Rotermund
Canon 30D
Sigma 150mm
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
rjlittlefield
Site Admin


Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 17395
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the compliments, guys! It's nice to know that the composition looks good to somebody besides me. Always hard to tell about that... Confused

It's very likely that you've seen grasses "like this". But be careful about reading too much into general appearance -- ID'ing grasses will drive you a little crazy.

This one genus Bromus contains about 160 species worldwide (according to Wikipedia). There are 17 in the Pacific Northwest alone (according to Hitchcock and Cronquist, pp 624-627). They all look somewhat alike, but...

Hitch and Cronquist wrote:
The perennial species are palatable and readily grazed; a few, especially B. inermis, are widely used in hay-meadows. The annual species are mostly weedy and of little forage value except for a short period before maturity; when mature some species become potentially injurious because of the hardened, sharp, awned fruits.


It's this one particular species that seems to be so troublesome. Bromus tectorum, common names Drooping Brome, Downy Brome, and cheatgrass. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drooping_Brome has a good article, and Google searches will find you as much further reading as you could possibly want.

--Rik
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Mike B in OKlahoma



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 1048
Location: Oklahoma City

PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nicely done. They were complaining bitterly about this grass in the Great Basin, for some of the same reasons you've listed. IDing grasses is indeed a booger. I'm not really a plant person, but once got interested enough in it that I picked up a book specifically on IDing grasses. I didn't follow up, and am not even sure where the book is now! Rolling Eyes
_________________
Mike Broderick
Oklahoma City, OK, USA

Constructive critiques of my pictures, and reposts in this forum for purposes of critique are welcome

"I must obey the inscrutable exhortations of my soul....My mandate includes weird bugs."
--Calvin
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ken Ramos



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 6909
Location: lat=35.4005&lon=-81.9841

PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know a Beryllium nutron fired directly into the nucleus of an atom of U238 would solve that grass problem but I would not advise such behavior. Half-lifes can go on for what may seem like forever. Maybe a bushhog will just have to do. Laughing
_________________
However, while there is grace where in all that I might live, while there is still breath in my being, while I may or may not accomplish anything more in life than to be living, I shall reflect upon the past, applying it to the present, for to possibly perceive to a near certainty, the outcome of the future.

Ken 2014
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    www.photomacrography.net Forum Index -> Macro and Close-up Archives All times are GMT - 7 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group